Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Project funded 1990/1991 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Island, Nebraska. Copyright 1992, the authors. Used by permission.


A survey of the mollusks of the Platte River was carried out during the summers of 1990 and 1991. With the exception of the Big Bend Reach of the River in Dawson, Buffalo and Hall counties, no unionids (mussels) were found in the main channel of the river. We found 11 species of mussels along the river and 16 species of snails at 49 different sites from east to west across the state. We found the Asiatic clam, a known, non-native, pest species, for the first time in the state placing it several hundred miles west of the present eastern population of eastern Iowa and Missouri. Two species of snails surveyed are the first records for the state. Because very little past work has been done on the mollusks, we have little with which to compare present distributions. We think the lack of mussels east of the Big Bend Reach may be related to the lack of diversity of habitat along the river and to the increase in urban and cultural activities. All specimens are being curated and housed at the University of Nebraska State Museum and will serve as the benchmark study against which future surveys and monitoring of the mollusks of the Platte can be compared.